There is nothing like money to get a conversation started about technology. The problem is you talk about technology.
Yesterday we had a budget meeting going over the schools technology purchase request, everything from MP3 players so Kindergarteners can record themselves reading to laptops to expand the 5th grade program.
The meeting lasted about 2 hours as we looked over each purchase to see how it fit into the curriculum and what the impact would be on student learning. We discussed the future of technology to length spending a fair amount of time on the difference between publishing with technology and composing with technology (Ill write about that later).
As the meeting was coming to a close our conversation started to move away from technology and started to focus on education. AH HA now thats the conversation! We discussed LOTS vs. HOTS (Lower Order Thinking Skills vs. Higher Order Thinking Skills). We know that teachers believe in teaching HOTS but do they know how, and do they have the tools needed to teach? Whats the different between looking up facts about Christopher Columbus in an encyclopedia and analyzing what someone else has written about him? I just started to smile as the conversation got more in-depth on what do we truly want students to be able to do, and how do we truly want students to be able to think? The conversation lasted about 15 minutes but I believe it was the best 15 minutes of the 2 hour meeting. In those 15 minutes we stared the conversation that needs to happen on a much larger scale then the 4 of use looking at the technology budget. As I walked out of the meeting my parting words were The best part about the last 15 minutes was that we did not once mention technology. Only when we stop talking about technology and start talking about teaching and learning can technology truly have an impact on education.